Archive for August, 2011

We’re Growing!

Our 1-year anniversary is approaching fast! We’ve come from humble beginnings to being a fairly recognizable Star Wars fan site, thanks in no small part to you, our readers! Along with myself, Knights Archive has a new novel reviewer, Andrew, and hopefully we’ll continue to grow and see the need for more staff. We have hundreds of followers on Twitter, many fans on Facebook, and have other social media accounts.

It’s been my goal from the beginning to expand Knights Archive into a full-functioning website if the response was positive enough. I do believe that to be the case. I envision this site to not only continue its news reports, reviews and other content currently seen, but also to have more of an interaction with readers, perhaps our own forums and other areas of expansion.

I have my own ideas, and have been planning a new site for several months now, but do you have any ideas for what you’d like to see from us in the future? If you do, please leave a comment in this article!

I don’t have a time frame for when a new site will be launched. Just know that the plan is for it to happen, and I’m actively working towards that goal! In any event, I look forward to what the future holds for Knights Archive and for Star Wars.

- Master Optician

Review: Labyrinth of Evil

Labyrinth of Evil
Author: James Luceno
Release Date: January 2005

Labyrinth of Evil is probably known as the novel that leads into the opening events of Revenge of the Sith. This is a shame because Labyrinth is much more than that. James Luceno is a skillful writer who expands upon relationships and back stories, expansions that help to enhance our understanding of characters and helps to give them more depth.

The novel begins during an attempt to capture Nute Gunray. Even though he escapes, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are able to capture his holotransceiver, a catch that offers clues to finding Darth Sidious. That’s the basic plot, and I won’t go into further detail because the plot is secondary at this point. For anyone who has seen Revenge of the Sith we already know that no truly major events will occur in this novel, because of continuity and the events of that film.

This begs the question: why read Labyrinth of Evil? We already know the Jedi won’t capture Darth Sidious. Why read something that is so directly reliant upon continuity? Labyrinth should be read because Luceno does more than just give us a story. Luceno is able to make the characters more realistic by expounding upon their relationships, with one another and the world around them.

I know many fans felt the brotherly relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith seemed forced. One aspect of this novel is the progression of their relationship. More information on them in between films gives authenticity to their new relationship. But this is not a complete transformation. The two men still have disagreements throughout the book, and I appreciated this. As Anakin matured their relationship would change and they would see each other in a new light, yet some remnants of their past relationship would remain. One of the first things Vader says to Obi-Wan nearly twenty years later after the events of this novel is, “The circle is now complete”, reminding us that any many ways they’re relationship will always be master and apprentice.

Another disappointing aspect of Revenge of the Sith was Anakin’s turn to the dark side. With the major exception of his killing of the Sand People in Attack of the Clones, there is nothing in the films to indicate Anakin’s eventual turn. Luceno is able to give a more detailed look at Anakin’s transformation. In Labyrinth, Luceno writes about Anakin’s pleasure in the clone troops being frightened of him. He also details Anakin’s drawing upon his rage in combat. This lends a genuineness to what happens to Anakin, as his conversion isn’t so abrupt.

It was also good to get information on the Trade Federation. In the interest of honesty, I was never really sure how the Trade Federation fit into everything (don’t ask me about their role in The Phantom Menace). Labyrinth of Evil recounts Nute Gunray’s story of joining of the Separatist Movement and his relationship with Darth Sidious. This new understanding helped me appreciate their role in the story more.

The novel’s biggest fault is what seems to be the real life connections it makes between Chancellor Palpatine and George W. Bush. Luceno details the subtle ways Palpatine slowly transforms the Republic into the Empire. The passage is effective but it also blatantly draws parallels with then President Bush, and some of his more controversial measures during the War on Terror. This objection is not a matter of politics, but the belief that real world matters have no business in Star Wars. The comparison comes off as cheap and doesn’t serve any real purpose. The only thing it accomplished was to draw me out of the story.

There is also a conversation between Yoda and Obi-Wan that I found to be odd. It surrounds the origins of the clone army. I have no problems with the discussion itself, but rather the timing of it. Why are they discussing these things now? By now the war has been going on for three years. The conversation comes off as being solely for the reader’s benefit and the tone of the discussion is awkward.

Labyrinth of Evil is weighted down with its continuity issues. There was no mystery in the plot. Everyone knows that Darth Sidious is actually Palpatine. Yet, Labyrinth should still be read. James Luceno is an excellent writer, and his characterizations are well done. He is able to expand upon characters and their relationships, and give them depth. Despite some shortcomings, the novel works well and serves as a good introduction to Revenge of the Sith.

Labyrinth of Evil receives a 3 ½ out of 5.

- Andrew

New Filoni Interview: The Clone Wars Season 4

The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni recently sat down with IGN to talk about Season 4. From Ahsoka to Death Watch, many things are discussed in the interview. Check it out! [Source][Via]

The Clone Wars Season 4 Images

IGN has posted several new publicity stills from the upcoming The Clone Wars season 4, which airs September 16th! [Source][Via]

Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Edition Annotations

Game Informer has posted an excerpt of the upcoming Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition, which shows exactly how the annotations will look inside! They’re also giving away 3 copies of the book! Click on the link for further details! [Source][Via]

SEE ALSO:
HttE: Behind the Scenes Audio Excerpt Online
Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Annotations
Description For Heir To The Empire Released
Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition
Tentative Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Cover

Heir to the Empire: Behind the Scenes Audio Excerpt Online

Random House has posted an audio excerpt from the upcoming Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: Behind the Scenes audiobook, due to be released September 6, 2011. Click on the link above and give it a listen!

The excerpt includes previously unreleased annotations!

SEE ALSO:
Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Edition Annotations
Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Annotations
Description For Heir To The Empire Released
Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition
Tentative Heir To The Empire 20th Anniversary Cover

Star Wars On Blu-ray Restoration Details

Want to know some of the details of restoring the Saga for the upcoming Star Wars on Blu-ray releases? StarWars.com has posted an interesting article that talks about some of the changes made.

Though the Star Wars movies were created for the big screen, George Lucas and his production team have made efforts to ensure they look and sound as good as possible for their home video releases. With the Saga’s long-awaited release on high-definition Blu-ray disc this September, it will be arriving in the best looking and best sounding home video format ever, a release that required meticulous optimization of picture and sound.

SEE ALSO:
Star Wars On Blu-ray Teaser Trailer
Star Wars Blu-ray Deleted Scenes Teaser Video
Star Wars on Blu-ray May 4th Reveal
Star Wars on Blu-ray Latest Announcements

Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online

Random House has posted the blurb for Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, due to be released in hardcover on December 27, 2011.

He was the most powerful Sith lord who ever lived.
But could he be the only one who never died?

“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power . . . over life and death.

Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

A Chat With Sue Rostoni

As most of you know, Sue Rostoni, Executive Editor for Lucas Licensing, recently retired after a long and prosperous career. I’m sure she’s been enjoying retirement, but she recently journeyed back to the world of Star Wars and granted us an interview. To say that we were thrilled is an understatement!

Sue was born and raised in Northern California and has held a variety of jobs from motorcycle mechanic to carpenter, meter reader to editor. She graduated from San Francisco State University and for the past 20+ years worked for Lucas Licensing, one of the of Lucasfilm Ltd companies, retiring in July 2011 as executive editor. She lives with her dog and cat, Tiki and Butters, in the home her grandpa built.
Read more

Matthew Stover Darth Plagueis Short Story

Matthew Stover has penned a new Star Wars Insider short story: The Tenebrous Way, which is a tie in to the upcoming Darth Plagueis novel by James Luceno! Look for this story in issue 130. [Source]

The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual

Back on July 14th, Star Wars Books on Facebook announced the upcoming The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual, due to be released February 7, 2012. Random House has posted a synopsis of the publication…

The Millennium Falcon is a legendary spaceship, made famous by its adventures under the command of smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, who made numerous special modifications to transform the beat-up Corellian light freighter into one of the fastest ships in the galaxy.

This Haynes Manual traces the model history of the Corellian Engineering Corporation’s YT series of spaceships and the development of the YT-1300 model line before focusing on the Millennium Falcon, itself a modified YT-1300. Onboard systems, controls, and their operation are described in detail and supported by a host of photographs, line art, floor plans, exploded diagrams, and stunning computer-generated artwork, all newly created by acknowledged Falcon experts Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas. Text is by Ryder Windham, author of more than fifty Star Wars books.

Covering operational history, piloting, propulsion, weapons, engineering systems, sensors, and crew facilities, this is the most thorough technical guide to the Millennium Falcon available.

This Haynes Manual is fully authorized and approved by Lucasfilm.

SEE ALSO:
Review: Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual by Master Optician
Review: Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual by Andrew

Fate of the Jedi: APOCALYPSE Synopsis

[Source]

The Apocalypse is coming! In this final novel in the thrilling nine-book New York Times bestselling Fate of the Jedi series, it’s Jedi against Sith…and Luke Skywalker against Darkness itself!

In the epic conclusion to the Fate of the Jedi series, Luke Skywalker leads a desperate all-out assault against the new face of Darkness: the Lost Tribe of the Sith. The future of Coruscant—and of the Galactic Alliance—hangs in the balance. But victory is far from certain. Luke and his Jedi Order will be tested as never before…and the galaxy will never be the same again.

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